Tuesday, April 24, 2012

people I respect(ed)

There are people I normally respect who have said, recently, that John Derbyshire did nothing wrong in writing what he wrote (see here). Derb's basic argument is that one should judge black people one doesn't know based on statistics. What's ironic is that these supporters of Derbyshire are conservative, and conservatives are usually the ones who talk in terms of people, not systems-- individuals, not statistics. Racism is an example of negatively judging an individual based on what one thinks one knows about the group to which that individual belongs. All prejudicial "-ism"s stink of this same trait, and deny the individual any benefit of the doubt-- a point being missed again and again by Derb's obtuse defenders. What I find ironic about this particular school of thought is the fear that underlies it: I thought there was no room for fear or cowardice in an ethos of rugged individualism. Perhaps I was wrong.


1 comment:

John said...

I'm not here to defend Derbyshire. I think the consequences of his actions in writing that piece were appropriate.

I'm particularly incensed about how pervasive this kind of thinking has become. I got in a big comment war on Facebook the other day because one of my liberal friends was raging that the "Christians" had succeeded in having minors prohibited from attending the Lady Gaga concert here in Korea.

There was a small group of "Christians" who peacefully protested her appearance, but it seemed over the top to paint all Christians as intolerant based on this incident.

I noted that in most Islamic countries someone like Gaga would not even be allowed to exist, let alone perform. Of course, all hell broke loose shortly thereafter.

I'm not even a Christian, but this moral equivalence (a few anti-homosexual bigots is the same as Sharia condoning the murder of homosexuals) just drives me wild.

Maybe I'm just intolerant, but, ahem, statistically speaking, women who bring dishonor to the family for being raped and gays would fare better under the most extreme version of Christianity than they do under Islam.

Anyway, I'm all about holding individuals accountable for their actions, but until the Pope starts issuing fatwas, I'm not buying that when it comes to religion it's all same/same.